The high-stakes world of Civil War–era horse racing is the stage for this riveting drama of slavery and Reconstruction. Both Simon Cato, a smart, cocky ‘colored’ jockey, and his horse, Pure Confidence, are owned by Colonel Wiley Johnson. Cato uses his wits and his championship winnings to buy his and his wife’s freedom. But the Civil War changes everything, and the passage of time does not bring Cato the success he expects in this surprisingly funny, daring and emotionally moving look at the complexity of race, humanity, love and dignity in the second half of the nineteenth century. With a vivid backdrop of fast horses, gritty racetracks and high-stakes betting, PURE CONFIDENCE is an extraordinary tale of human triumphs and failings that explores the true meaning of freedom.